Media Releases

October 9, 2002

Zooming towards Indianapolis:
ASLTA’s second National Professional Development Conference in the works

The Second National Professional Development Conference of the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) will be held Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13, 2003, in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown.

This conference will follow the same basic plan at the first NPD Conference, held in Rochester, New York, in October 1999. There will be plenary sessions, workshops, instructive presentations, and ASLTA business. There will be some fun activities, and a few surprises.

As the title indicates, the emphasis is on professional development: workshops, presentations, and skill-polishing. It’s geared towards ASL, Deaf Studies, and ITP teachers and students, and current and future interpreters. They can earn RID CEUs towards their ASLTA certification by participating in these events. There will be opportunities for networking and late-into-the night discussions. Sales/exhibit booths will give attendees a chance to see what’s new. They can browse through and bring back a variety of ASL-teaching and auxiliary materials–books, videos, software, and CDs.

Presentations will cover various aspects of ASL linguistics, teaching, curricula, and research. ASLTA has issued a "Call for Presenters."

Following the success of the first Silent Auction Gala at the first NPD Conference, a second Silent Auction Gala fundraiser, featuring original artworks by Deaf artists, has been scheduled for Friday night, April 11. Proceeds will benefit ASLTA and the participating artists. This event will be open to the public.

The Marriott Indianapolis Downtown is located the heart of downtown Indianapolis, connected to the newly expanded Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome. It’s only 10 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport and within walking distance to more than 100 restaurants and nightclubs, close to downtown attractions such as the Indianapolis Zoo, City Center, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Children’s Museum, Artsgarden, IMAX 3-D Theater, and the Indiana Repertory Theatre. A few other nearby don’t-miss-them landmarks for sightseers are the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (the glorious centerpiece of Monument Circle), the City Market, the State Capitol Building, the Indiana World War Memorial, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, Murat Centre, and the Madame Walker Theatre Center.

The Marriott features 615 deluxe guest rooms, 28 suites, including 2 Presidential Suites, 18th- and 19th-floor concierge levels with private concierge lounge, an indoor pool, whirlpool and health club, a full-service restaurant, Champions Sports Bar, and a Starbucks. 200 rooms have been reserved for ASLTA. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. (Up to four attendees can share a room.)

As before, teachers, students, and ASL supporters can register online. The ASLTA.com Website us is for conference-related information only, and will contain full preregistration details.

Sponsorship, advertising, and on-site sales opportunities (exhibitors’ booths) are available. Contact Matthew Moore, Conference Coordinator, 1095 Meigs Street, Rochester, NY 14620-2405.

Background: ASLTA is the national membership and certifying body of and for teachers of ASL. ASLTA seeks to improve the standards of teaching ASL, to ensure that ASL teachers have the highest possible qualifications, to promote recognition of ASL as a language, and to function as a positive force in our community by encouraging greater Deaf awareness and appreciation of the beauty and power of ASL.

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